Do you see yourself as a champion? 

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For many, the idea of being a champion feels out of reach and yet is only a mindset away.  The following is an excerpt of an interview with Bob Bowman and John Urbancheck, Michael Phelps’ coaches, summarizing Phelps’ Seven Mental Toughness Strategies.


#1. SET CLEAR GOALS.  Clear specific goals and a compelling reason (purpose) to work hard and sacrifice daily is a MUST.  Phelps’ key to championship goal setting started by linking his daily practice with winning each race with the ultimate reward of going to the Olympics.


#2. WORK HARD.  There is no substitute for consistent, hard work and training.  Phelps regularly practiced challenging exercises over and over again so he would be prepared for anything in the pool at race time.


#3. PAY ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS.  Perfect practice creates a perfect outcome.

Phelps paid close attention to the details every time he trained. He didn’t mindlessly go through the motions.  He focused on making sure his technique was precise.


#4. STAY CALM AND RELAXED PRE-PERFORMANCE.  The secret to performing at the highest level is to stay calm under pressure.  Phelps practiced progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) every day since he was 12 years old.


#5. USE A SET PRE-PERFORMANCE RITUAL.  Use the same pre-performance routine before each and every performance.  Phelps knew the importance of focusing on “controllables” during the heat of competition.  If you allow pre-performance thoughts to drift to the “uncontrollables” (like the outcome, the skill, size, and/or reputation of your opponent, a bad call by the ref), you are more likely to lose your concentration and confidence.


#6. PEAK PERFORMANCE IMAGERY.  When you mentally “practice” in vivid detail, “seeing,” “hearing” and “feeling” the specifics of your performance, you systematically train yourself to perform at that level.  Phelps practiced in and out of the pool. Each visionary practice ensured him a gold medal performance. 


#7. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF NO MATTER WHAT.  Top performers always believe in themselves.  Regardless of what Phelps’ teachers said, he believed in himself.  It is his belief in himself that has made him the most decorated Olympian in our history.


You don’t have to be an Olympian to have the mindset of a champion.  Practice these Seven Mental Toughness Strategies for 30 days and record your results.

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Much Success!

Have an outstanding day!!




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